We can’t take all the credit, but the science confirms that when you make music for a sustained period of time, your brain literally grows!

Bridget O’Leary is one student currently excelling as she finishes up her Bachelor’s degree at Johns Hopkins University with accolades, community service, and dreams for the future in place.
Bridgette is double majoring in Writing and Language.  That includes studies in four languages: Spanish, French, Russian, and Hebrew.  Bridget has also been writing plays for the Witness Theater at Hopkins and is now serving on the executive board for the group.  Her plays have been selected for performance on an annual basis.  During COVID, Bridget has been tutoring middle school children in creative writing, on-line.

Her mom reports:  “She is TEFL certified and was recently invited to join the Beta Circle of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society for her high academic achievement and  leadership.”

And the future?  Bridget hopes to live in France next year while teaching English (application now underway), wants to spend a year working for AmeriCorps, and then move on to graduate school.  Her long term plan is to secure a Doctorate in Linguistics and a Masters in Library Science. How’s that for a plan? !!

We are happy to know that Bridget is working very hard and, as her former flute teacher, I like to think that flute practice skills (like lots of repetition for technical mastery and all those other good goal setting practice strategies) have contributed to her success in college.  This photo is from 2014.  We played a duet for a December recital.  Bridget graduated from Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, CT in 2018.  She is originally from Leicester.


For Ages 5 to 7 years/K,Gr.1and2

This semester, your child will learn to drum, sing, move to new rhythms, work in ensembles, conduct, improvise, and play dynamic music games!

More Details here.

The Tree Frog Collection contains energetic triple-meter rhythms inspired by Japanese Taiko drumming. We’ll explore these patterns in “Suzume Odori” (Sparrow Dance), as we adapt the intricate steps danced in festivals throughout Japan. “Canta Coquí” (Singing Frog) has two distinct song phrases that evoke the abundant Puerto Rican tree frogs singing and hopping everywhere! We’ll celebrate the beautiful rivers and mountains of Japan in “Tree Frog Song,” while learning a delightful Japanese hand-clapping game. And “Tree Frog Night” will give us a chance to experience a night in the life of a tree frog!

All 22 song selections have been chosen and arranged specifically to support your child’s music development.

Schedules, details and a registration link can all be found on this Rhythm Kids program page.

Hello Friends,
Plans for our September 17, 2022, 40th Gala at Tuckerman Hall are well underway!
I (board member Melanie Donegan) am still in need of loyal supporters of Pakachoag Music School to help with decorations and interesting graphics for event displays and the evening’s program.
Our event will truly be a Gala with lots of entertainment, delicious hors d’oeurves and honors bestowed.
Please consider being a part of this wonderful event as we celebrate 40 years of music for Greater Worcester.
Contact Melanie Donegan, board member and event chairperson, for more info or questions.
This Fall, we’re introducing 16 children, grades 3 to 5, to the Ukulele at Worcester’s Elm Park Community School.
We extend thanks to School donors and grantors whose support is making it possible for us to invest in this program. Grants are currently pending in hopes of continued and expanded partner-based outreach programming in 2022.
Elm Park Principal Lucas Donahue, music teacher Danielle Maldonado, and Jeanne Gohary, School Administrative Assistant, have all been instrumental in helping get the program started.
Guitar /Ukulele teacher Michael Stubblefield is at Elm Park on Thursdays for 1 1/2 hours.  Kristjon Imperio, Director of Programs and Community Engagement, is spearheading the project.
What is this unusual space where the students are meeting?  It is Elm Park’s Hogwart’s School library!  Featuring all things ‘Harry Potter’.   Elm School librarian has created an engaging, calm space that includes pleasant aromas, things to touch, and lots of things to read.

Meet (or Catch Up With!) Joy O’Connor Miller, 2006 Graduate
Artist and Art Teacher

When the Lessons of Music at Pakachoag Keep Giving

Joy took flute lessons through middle and high school.  She is originally from Auburn,  MA

This fall, Joy joined our Harmony Fund family with her first gift.  Joy now lives in Mississippi*.  She graduated from Ann Maria College in Paxton, MA.
I asked Joy if she is still playing her flute. Joy says not so much, but she does have some reflections to share about the impact of music learning in her daily work.

I have a poster in my classroom that reads “Practice makes Progress.” That’s definitely an idea I grew very familiar with through my lessons and daily flute practice throughout middle and high school. I was never a perfect flutist, but I definitely witnessed a lot of progress, which was so rewarding that it then fueled more practice and more progress. I hope to convey the importance of progress over perfection to my art students: they don’t come to my classes because they already create perfect art, but because they want to learn and develop into better artists.

The impact of music lessons becomes broader and deeper over time. What we do is about music, but so much more, like improving reading and memory skills for beginners to lots of analytical thinking involved in mastering technical challenges for older, advancing students; and definitely, as Joy well knows, instilling a life-long understanding of the importance of hard work through practice – for progress, not necessarily the illusive idea of “perfection”.

Many thanks to all, including Joy, who support Pakachoag as volunteer, donor, grantor, community member.  Your support helps make Music for Life.

*Oops.  I (Sarah S.) mixed up my state abbreviations and translated MS earlier as Missouri.

Many thanks to all who keep the music playing at Pakachoag, year-to-year, decade-to-decade.  Here, you can view/download a pdf copy of the Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report.

Annual Report for 2021

Students from the after-school Black Excellence Academy enjoy a music class with Pakachoag faculty member Christon Carney. Chris visits BEA once a week again this fall.